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Something New

Photo: Flickr/venndiagram
By Jay Barmann - Published on March 07, 2014.

Hey gang. Andrew here. I want to tell you about some exciting changes we'll be rolling out over the next week or two. I'll explain everything in a sec, but first I want to explain why we're doing it.

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I started Haighteration about four years ago. At the time, it was mainly a way for me to better get to know my neighborhood, and to force myself to write every day. (I was a writer in a previous life, but my current day job is actually web design.) To my surprise, Haighteration found a readership pretty quickly. It seems there were other folks in the Lower Haight who wanted to follow and discuss all its daily nonsense along with me. Which was unexpected, but great. Within a few months, I started getting emails from residents of nearby neighborhoods. They would ask me to cover events in Hayes Valley, or crimes in the Upper Haight, or businesses up Divisadero. I knew I couldn't cover those neighborhoods myself, but it seemed there was an opportunity for Haighteration to grow a bit. So I found some talented writers in Hayes Valley and the Upper Haight, and in early 2012, we spun off Hayeswire and Uppercasing, respectively. Same general format and style, same Wordpress installation, etc -- but with dedicated writers covering their own neighborhoods. And again, the new blogs quickly built their own readerships, which continue to grow. There are plenty of other areas of the city with interesting stories to tell, and no reliable sources of daily news coverage.

We think we can serve these areas by taking what we've learned from our original three blogs, and expanding to cover new communities. But instead of starting more neighborhood blogs, we've decided to make a change. We're building something new -- and better -- from scratch. For the past year or so, we've been mapping out a new site. It takes the stories from our existing blogs, and a few nearby neighborhoods, and unites them all in one place. As a reader, you'll still be able to just get Lower Haight news if you want (or Hayes Valley, or Upper Haight), but you'll also be able to get combinations thereof -- and you won't have to go to a bunch of different sites to do it. Or, if you prefer, you won't have to visit the site at all. You can get breaking neighborhood news delivered by email, or by an alert on your phone. Or if you want to receive your news less frequently, we can send you daily or weekly email digests from the neighborhoods of your choosing. Basically, we're making it easier for you to enjoy our stories, and easier for us to share them with you. And we're building a platform that will let us keep growing in the future. This all starts with the release of a new iPhone app, which is coming in the next few days. Later this month, our new website will launch. We'll let you know when both are ready. This might sound like a lot of newness, but the basics of what we're doing will remain the same.

I'll still be writing about the Lower Haight, Camden and Amy will be covering the Upper Haight, Jared in Hayes Valley, and some great writers in new neighborhoods. And we'll still rely on you for story ideas, feedback, and lively comments. (Looking at you, Colonel.) Speaking of comments, if you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know below. You can also email me directly -- andrew [at] haighteration {{dot}} com. Otherwise, stay tuned for the official announcements in the days ahead. We can't wait to share what we're building with you. Thanks for reading, as always.

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